...freedom summer never really ended.
Charles Marsh: How do you assess the whole freedom summer project from beginning to the closure, if you want to call it that, in Atlantic City? Tell me about that.
Victoria Gray Adams: As far as I am concerned, I guess, the zenith, if you will and then things began to level out. As far as I am concerned, freedom summer never really ended. Because from all of the people that I have been blessed to meet again, wherever, I have found that probably less than one percent of the people who were really involved have not continued to move in ways different from that they would have moved if not for the Mississippi experience… They continue to use the learnings of that experience to address whatever goes on around them. I contend that most of what has happened in this country that is their ally, that is politically correct, not in the usual term of today, grew out of that movement in the 60's. People became aware of the importance of being sensitive to all of the people in your environment, a kind of compassion grew out of that, there is no doubt in my mind of that, the laws and legislation that have grown up around the physically different, the mentally different. These things came out of the life changing experience of people who were involved in the 60's movement, but who learned new ways to address these things… And so, a sense of power that was not connected to a violence grew in these people… So in that sense as far as I am concerned, the freedom song really does go on…
CM: A lot of people, however, say something happened in Atlantic City that was deeply disillusioning.
VGA: No question. Absolutely no question. But you know for me, I just decided, now we clearly understand it ain't just Mississippi. It ain't just Mississippi. Now we know. That it is a national disease that we are dealing with and that became very clear to me at that point.